The village of Constantine was awarded a grant in excess of $240,000 Friday from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.
During a ceremony at the village office, municipal leaders accepted the money awarded as part of a Downtown Infrastructure Grant. The $242,000 gift was contingent on an $80,000 match from the village.
Village Manager Mark Honeysett said the funds will help pay for a 34-space parking lot downtown, new lighting and a number of other amenities to enhance Constantine’s downtown area.
Constantine was one of 14 communities in the state to receive grants from the EDC. A total of $7 million was available from the Lansing agency.
Work is expected to start later in the spring and conclude in September.
State Sen. Bruce Caswell announced he will not seek re-election later this year.
The 64-year-old Caswell said his tenure will end Dec. 31. He took over the position from Cameron Brown starting in January 2011.
Caswell, a retired superintendent of Pittsford Area Schools, had turned in his petition to run again. However, Caswell said he will withdraw his petition and let someone new step in to the seat.
The 16th State Senate District will be redrawn in 2015 to exclude St. Joseph and Lenawee counties, but add Jackson County. It currently includes and will continue to take in Branch and Hillsdale counties.
Concerns about the city’s recommendation to leave a trickle of water running as a precaution against frozen pipes were expressed during last week’s Three Rivers City Commission meeting.
Residents Jim Everett and Helen Dettmar asked Mayor Tom Lowry and commissioners if residents who adhere to the request would be given a break on their water bills.
City manager Joe Bippus said the billing department would make average adjustments for people who do leave water running. Bippus said people who have either been following or plan to abide by the request should visit the city’s finance department.
Lowry suggested the city consider taking the average of the prior three, four or six billing cycles. He clarified that the city will consider the rate adjustment only if a homeowner has, in fact, left water running and their bill is greater than usual.
Three Rivers Fire Department Captain Jeff Bloomfield was recognized last week for his efforts in heading the annual Firefighters for Santa program.
Chief Dan Tomlinson and members of the city commission saluted Bloomfield, as he was presented with a specially designed fire hat that read “Chief Santa.” The presentation was a surprise to Bloomfield, whose wife, Holley, also surprised him by attending the brief ceremony.
Firefighters for Santa allows members of the Three Rivers force to collect and deliver food and clothes to Three Rivers families who have fallen on hard times.
The cause benefitted 91 families during the 2013 Christmas season.
Two vehicles in Mendon Township were burglarized earlier this week.
According to a St. Joseph County Sheriff’s Department media release, the breaking-and-entering incidents occurred Sunday or Monday in the 23000 block of South Shore Drive.
A small amount of loose change was taken from a vehicle; a backpack was stolen from the other.
A detour was set up on Pulver Road last week, as crews prepare to replace the Rocky River bridge.
Located between Burlew Road and M-216 in Flowerfield Township, the bridge will be replaced this spring by Allegan County-based Milbocker and Sons. The same company will also be charged with replacing the Floating Bridge Road bridge, also spanning the Rocky River in Flowerfield Township.
The projects’ combined cost is $1.2 million. St. Joseph County Road Commission officials said the Michigan Department of Transportation’s local bridge fund will cover 95 percent of the expense.